A mixed bag of economic news Thursday shows a record number of U.S.
homeowners having problems repaying their mortgage loans and more
troubles in the job market. At the same time, other studies show an
The American Bankers Association, an
industry group, says more than nine percent of home loans are one month
or more behind in their payments. Other measures of housing problems
also hit record highs.
A separate report showed more U.S.
workers applied for unemployment compensation last week. Labor
Department officials say the number of newly laid-off workers rose by
15,000 (to a total of 576,000).
But the Conference Board, a
private research group, says the U.S. economy will continue to improve
in the next six to nine months. Its index of leading indicators rose
by six-tenths of a percentage point to a reading of in July. It was
the fourth month in a row the index improved.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters and Bloomberg.